The No. 1 Reason Why Letting Your Dog Sleep in Bed Is a Terrible Idea

If you’re like most pet owners, you probably bought your dog a bed to sleep on. Maybe you even sprung for the fancy memory foam version with the super soft cover. No matter how nice the pet bed you chose, however, inevitably your furry best friend would rather curl up with you in bed.

Allowing pets on your furniture might sound like something you never thought you’d do. But as your beloved dog wears down your resolve because he looks so darn cute curled up on the duvet, be aware that sleeping with your pet may not be a good idea after all. In fact, there are some compelling reasons (especially see page 7) why kicking your cat or dog off the bed could be beneficial for your health.

Sleeping with your dog can disrupt sleep efficiency

Cute pomeranian dog sleeping on pillow on bed
You might not sleep as well. | beer5020/iStock/Getty Images

The Mayo Clinic conducted a study to determine whether sleeping with a dog in bed affected sleep quality. What it found is bad news for any bed-sharing pet owners.

While the dogs slept just fine through the night, the study concluded, “Human sleep efficiency was lower if the dog was on the bed as opposed to simply in the room.” So even if you don’t notice yourself waking up through the night, you might still find yourself feeling groggy later in the day because your sleep quality isn’t as good when sleeping with your dog.

Next: You might be sneezing in bed.

Dogs can carry allergens

Man sneezing in a tissue
Your dog can carry allergens. | iStock/Getty Images

Dog owners aren’t typically allergic to dogs (unless you’re talking about those hypoallergenic dog owners). But even if your allergies aren’t triggered by pet dander, inviting your pet to sleep in your bed puts you at a greater risk of contaminating your sleeping quarters.

Common allergens, such as pollen and dust, can stick to your pet’s fur, which then transfers to your bedding. The worse your allergies act up, the more your sleep quality will suffer.

Next: Be careful about this natural instinct.

The bed will become part of his territory

a dog licks a woman's face in a bed
He will think of it as his. | Fly_dragonfly/iStock/Getty Images

Dogs are territorial creatures. And when you invite them to sleep in your bed, you are letting them know the area is part of their domain. Have you ever noticed your dog growling at your partner in bed? It could be because he’s trying to protect you in your bed kingdom.

One other downside of making your bed part of your dog’s territory is their tendency to mark the area through urination. (Enough said.)

Next: Your bedding might suffer.

Those expensive bed linens can get destroyed

Big white soft pillows on a white luxury cozy bed
The last thing you want is to ruin your nice sheets. | Theerawan Bangpran/iStock/Getty Images

The sturdiest quilt is no match for puppy teeth and claws. Even well-behaved dogs may inadvertently get snagged on your bed linens while jumping up or settling down. And if you have more than one dog wrestling for room on the bed, forget it.

Dogs are also likely to track in mud from outside, which is not a great combination with crisp white sheets and comforters.

Next: Do you really want your dog to be a spoiled brat?

Your dog will get spoiled

Dog is lying on back on the bed
It’s going to get a little crowded. | Chalabala/iStock/Getty Images

Letting your dog sleep in bed forms habits that will last for her entire life. Let’s say you’re single, and you don’t mind nighttime puppy cuddles. Well, what happens when you get married and start co-sleeping with your spouse and triplets? That queen-sized bed is going to get a little crowded.

You’re much better off introducing the dog bed or another specific sleeping spot from the get-go, rather than trying to change your dog’s sleeping arrangements down the road. This will also limit aggression toward the “intruders” in your dog’s sleeping area.

Next: What guard dog?

He won’t be on guard

Cute cat and dog sleeping together
If there’s an intruder you won’t know. | Kozorog/iStock/Getty Images

One great thing about owning a dog is she can alert you to intruders long before you’d hear them with your weak human ears. But when your faithful guard dog is nestled deep in the blankets with the bedroom door closed, she’s not as likely to hear noise disturbances in the middle of the night.

Next: That new mattress might get ruined.

Accidents happen

Norfolk terrier dog looking guilty
You don’t need a bed-wetter. | violet-blue/iStock/Getty Images

Every dog has accidents, especially puppies and older dogs suffering from incontinence. Ever tried to clean dog urine from a mattress? Yuck.

Next: You might still let your dog sleep in the bed for this reason.

Ultimately, the benefits can outweigh the risks

Girl with her dog on the bed with tablet.
You have to make your own decision. | Rasulovs/iStock/Getty Images

Despite all evidence to the contrary, sleeping with your dog in bed can be extremely comforting. One study found it may even be therapeutic for treating certain sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea and narcolepsy.

Evaluate whether your dog belongs in your bed, make a plan for their sleeping arrangements, and then stick with it. And if you do decide to relegate Fido to the floor, get him the memory foam bed. He deserves it.

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